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How to deal with DP who sulks?

(73 Posts)
PatienceRequired Sun 13-Jul-08 11:48:51

Just that really....whenever we have a disagreement, he sulks. It can be for days....i used the follow him around like a puppy dog trying to resolve it as i have never dealt with a sulker before. I feel that this made his sulk more worthwhile for him.

I then reduced my puppy dog behaviour to ignoring the sulk and talking normally to him, only to get basic answers and for the sulk to gradually wear away over the course of a few days.

I have grown in confidence in this relationship and where before i would have questioned if i was in the wrong this time i know i am right, and even if i wasn't i dont think that this method ever resolves the problem. it is after all the same dispute we have time and time again.

I said this to him, this morning and he is refusing to budge, either on the not sulking or on the issue that caused us to row in the first place. The childish immature part of me wants to ignore him too, even down to not cooking any dinner etc, for him but i cant stand that kind of behaviour and couldn't do it. What would you do next?

MamaG Sun 13-Jul-08 11:51:23

I think I'd punch him on the nose

not really - God that would drive me to distraction, I don't think I could stay with him TBH! A bit of an extreme reaction but I can't bear not to resolve arguments

NumberJill Sun 13-Jul-08 12:10:22

Wait until he has finished sulking, and be NOWHERE near him while he does this. Then discuss with him how childish and unconstructive sulking behavior is.

foxymolly Sun 13-Jul-08 12:10:48

My dp sulks, not for days at a time though. I blame his mum, she spoilt him rotten.

I used to pander to him as well, trying to get him to talk so we could resolve the issue.

But then I thought 'sod it' he's making a bloody idiot out of me. So I jus ignored it, it was hard but I carried on as usual, talking as normal and doing everything that I would normally do.

Now he realises he isn't getting any attention, he hardly does it and when he does I let him get on with it.

I alo told him he was being childish

PatienceRequired Sun 13-Jul-08 12:14:39

Lol MamaG, thanks for your reply, I too cant bear not to resolve arguments but punching his nose or leaving dont really feel like realistic options.
We only dispute about two issues. The first i can see his point and will now compromise on.The second i think i am just going to have to stand my ground on. I do think there is a compromise to be made but he believes he is 100% right.

And as he is so stuck in his ways and stubborn.......agggghhhhhhhh

Please someone give me some wonderful munsnetty way of dealing with this....

PatienceRequired Sun 13-Jul-08 12:19:14

Sorry cross posts,

Thats just it foxy, i feel like he is making an idiot out of me. and i have been dealing with it the way you say (acting normal)but now feel fed up with the cold shoulder basic answers etc. I really have this inside need to blank him too but then i will be as bad as hi is, and i know that i will "break" before he does...

MaryBS Sun 13-Jul-08 12:26:37

Have a look at the "Men are from Mars" book. I think it says something along the lines of men going off to sulk in their cave, and to just let them.

foxymolly Sun 13-Jul-08 12:27:41

Just really have to pretend as if you haven't noticed that he's ignoring you. It might take a while, he might need to have a few 'sulks' before he realises your not pandering to him anymore.

Be strong. Carry on as normal and don't break. You can do it!

prettyfly1 Sun 13-Jul-08 12:31:45

my ex does this and it drove me mental. he is a major mummies boy as well. in the end i told him to f off because it made me look like an arse but i think inoring him would probably work

PatienceRequired Sun 13-Jul-08 12:35:13

Seriously now....i feel like i am asking you to be Supernanny telling me how to deal with a toddler. (yes i did ask for advice and thanks for it.)

What i mean is....
FFS isn't he supposed to be my partner, equal, blah blah, blah, why do i have to pretend anything, and why cant he be more mature than that, he is old enough after all.

Going off to rummage for "men from mars" think i have it in attic.

And, he has taken the youngest out for the day,(normally all five of us would have gone together) and i have just found the baby bag at bottom of stairs, so baby has no milk or clean nappies! AAgggghhhhhh

PatienceRequired Sun 13-Jul-08 12:37:20

Having disagreements is normal in any relationship i believe, but surely we must have an effective wayt of resolving them or we will be doomed.

foxymolly Sun 13-Jul-08 12:38:35

Blame the MIL - they treat them like babies and then we have to deal with the consequences.

ilovemydog Sun 13-Jul-08 12:52:14

Message withdrawn

Roskva Sun 13-Jul-08 12:56:31

I agree with foxy - I would just ignore him. If there were medals for sulking, my dh would be on the podium every time sad. I did make him stop and think when I did a pretend sulk after he peed me off one day: I ignored him if he was talking to me and did all the things he does. Funnily, he couldn't work out what he had done to deserve it grin.

And I blame MIL, too - she treats him like a little boy and disapproves of the fact that I don't angry. Ho hum, she lives in the US so we don't get to see her too often...

Jux Sun 13-Jul-08 12:58:31

Make him a sulking corner and send him there grin. He won't go, but it might make him feel like an idiot.

Hecate Sun 13-Jul-08 13:02:33

You shouldn't have to, but the reality is you are going to have to! You just can't deal with things based on how they ought to be in an ideal world, iyswim.

You could pretend you haven't noticed or you could laugh at him "hahaha sulking again! Want a dummy?" then wander around the house, chuckling to yourself. grin Or you could ask him stuff and when he ignores you, say "oh that's right, I forgot you're still sulking. Well, when you're finished pouting, the dog needs walking."

Personally, I'd go with the business as usual approach. Not pretending you haven't noticed, but just doing the normal stuff. Be the adult. When he goes into a sulk, tell him that sulking is childish and you wish he would deal with things in a more mature manner and when he is ready to rejoin the adult world, you'll be waiting... then just go about your day. He has to know that you recognise his pouting for what it is and he can't control you by it, and maybe even that you have less respect for him because of it.

mumonthenet Sun 13-Jul-08 15:46:10

patience, you said something earlier about a toddler.

That's it! Try to think of him as a toddler. grin

basically ignore the sulking but acknowledge his anger/hurt/sadness (giving him the benefit of the doubt here)

say something like: "I understand that you are upset that we cannot agreee on X but sulking is not the way to resolve it amongst adults" and then ignore said sulk.

hellish Sun 13-Jul-08 16:04:07

Just reading this thread has make me realize that my dh is a champion sulker too. I used to follow him around trying to resolve just like you Patience.

Recently have learned to ignore, I go to bed , the next morning I give him a big smile and pretend the row never happened.

Not the best way to resolve conflict I know, but it helps me get through the days.

partaria Sun 13-Jul-08 16:08:37

sulking is to be ignored imo, from adults and children alike. Luckily my dh is not at all sulky; when we disagree we will have a discussion or sometimes an argument, then the atmosphere is gone and we carry on in a civilised way. mil and one of my sil's are champion sulkers and takers on of the slightest of slights. I think dh has learned NOT to be like that thank God !

hk78 Sun 13-Jul-08 16:25:34

this: F8&s=books&qid=1215962650&sr=8-1

has been a huge help for me


bohemianbint Sun 13-Jul-08 16:27:56

If my DH sulks, it annoys me so much I end up screaming at him to grow up and sort himself f*cking out, or the like. That usually resolves things one way or another but it's probably not the best...

PatienceRequired Mon 14-Jul-08 11:35:04

Day three in the sulky

Well he is continuing to sulk, and now for some reason i am blanking him too. I didnt want to but cant bring myself to talk to him. I tried to carry on as normal but then gave up the will to live last night with him barely responding to me, and went to bed without even saying goodnight let alone giving him a goodnight kiss.

This morning the only interaction we had was when i had to reverse on the stairs as he was further up than i was down iyswim, and he said thank you as he passed me. He left for work without saying goodbye or usual kiss.

i totally identify with the losing respect aspect hecate, and i had absolutely no respect for my exh by the time my marriage finally broke down and so dont want to end up back down that path.

But...he is so bloomin stubborn!angry

I have unearthed "men from mars" but have yet to read it. Hope to get a quick read before he gets home tonight. yet still feel quite adamant that i shouldn't have to use stratagies, that he should just be a grown up. hmm

Hecate Mon 14-Jul-08 13:36:47

Tell him! Say to him that you are losing respect for him. It is something that he needs to understand.

Roskva Tue 15-Jul-08 10:50:38

If it's any consolation, I know what it feels like. I haven't got any more suggestions though,other than when he comes out of his sulk, try talking to him about how it makes you feel, and the bad example he's setting to your dcs.

Quattrocento Tue 15-Jul-08 11:06:48

Oh I can't bear sulkers. Really it's too much. You have to tell him your strategy for coping with his sulks and be consistent with your approach to it - all of which you are doing - and I think you just have to wait for him to grow up. I married a bit of a sulker but he doesn't sulk now ...

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